Game 12 of 34
TCF Bank Stadium | Minneapolis, Minnesota
Weather: 66 degrees and sunnySportingKC.com Links
Watch: Full match highlights
Goal: Shelton nets his first of the season
Reaction: Manager Peter Vermes
Reaction: Forward Johnny Russell
Sporting Kans as City: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler (C), Jimmy Medranda (Seth Sinovic 36); Roger Espinoza, Ilie, Yohan Croizet; Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi
Subs Not Used: Adrian Zendejas, Emiliano Amor, Jaylin Lindsey, Cristian Lobato, Gerso Fernandes, Diego Rubio
Minnesota United FC: Bobby Shuttleworth; Eric Miller, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo (C), Jerome Thiesson; Rasmus Schuller (Brent Kallman 86), Collin Martin (Maximiniano 66), Miguel Ibarra, Darwin Quintero, Alexi Gomez (Abu Danladi 74); Christian Ramirez
Subs Not Used: Alex Kapp, Carter Manley, Frantz Pangop, Mason Toye
SKC — Khiry Shelton 1 (Johnny Russell 3) 8
MIN — Darwin Quintero 3 (unassisted) 20
MIN — Rasmus Schuller (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 51
SKC — Seth Sinovic (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 53
SKC — Khiry Shelton (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 58
MIN — Maximiniano (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 71
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referee: Corey Rockwell
Assistant Referee: Jose Da Silva
Fourth Official: Marcos DeOliveira
VAR: Allen Chapman
(May 20, 2018) — Forward Khiry Shelton recorded his first goal of the season as Sporting Kansas City (7-2-3, 24 points) increased their lead atop the Western Conference to four points with a 1-1 draw at Minnesota United FC on Sunday afternoon.
An eighth-minute header from Shelton put Sporting KC in the ascendancy, but Darwin Quintero bagged an equalizer midway through the first half as the regional rivals split the points at sunny TCF Bank Stadium.
Manager Peter Vermes’ men held a distinct upper hand throughout the game – outshooting the Loons 24-6, owning 61 percent of possession and forcing Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to make a career-high nine saves – but were ultimately denied their 100th all-time away win in the MLS regular season.
The hosts thought they had opened the scoring with six minutes on the clock, but Christian Ramirez was flagged offside after tapping home a delectable delivery from Quintero. Sporting KC used the warning sign as a catalyst for improvement, landing the first punch just two minutes later.
Shelton, seeking his first MLS tally since October 2017, latched onto Johnny Russell’s in-swinging corner kick to snap a bouncing header past Shuttleworth in the 8th minute. The goal was Sporting KC’s second-earliest of the season and gave Russell his third assist of the campaign. It also marked the third time this year that Sporting KC has scored from a corner kick, having done so just twice during all of 2017.
Minnesota responded positively and drew level in the 20th minute. Miguel Ibarra was afforded space on the right wing to deliver a tantalizing cross into the penalty area, and although Quintero’s powerful header was saved by Tim Melia, the former Club America forward was able to poke the rebound into the corner from close range. The strike drew an end to Sporting KC’s 245-minute shutout streak dating back to April 28 and gave Quintero his third goal since joining the Loons as a Designated Player on March 31.
Left back Seth Sinovic was summoned into the match 10 minutes before intermission as Jimmy Medranda was forced to exit with an injury. The setback, however, didn’t prevent Sporting KC from barraging the Minnesota goal in the final moments of the first half.
After the Loons had failed to clear a set piece, Ike Opara cut past a pair of defenders and smacked a deflected effort marginally wide of Shuttleworth’s right-hand post. Salloi was next to threaten, lifting a right-footed curler just over the woodwork, before the increasingly confident Shelton unleashed a 25-yard sledgehammer that Shuttleworth palmed away.
A strong start to the second period saw Russell test Shuttleworth on two occasions, first bending a free kick over Minnesota’s four-man wall in the 52nd minute. Shortly thereafter, the Scot’s sweetly struck volley at the top of the box was touched over the crossbar by Minnesota’s leaping keeper. Shuttleworth remained busy and rescued his side again on the hour mark, sprawling right to parry Salloi’s stinging attempt from the edge of the 18.
Sporting KC kept its proverbial foot on the pedal with a slew of opportunities in the final quarter-hour. Less than a minute after Russell fired narrowly high from 15 yards, Salloi set up Espinoza for a left-footed drive that Shuttleworth smothered with his outstretched mitts. The visitors continued to pile pressure and almost went ahead when Salloi clipped a lovely ball to the back stick for Zusi, but the defender’s header caromed off the outside of the post for a Minnesota goal kick.
With a two-game road swing in the books, Sporting KC returns to Children’s Mercy Park next Sunday for a mouthwatering cross-conference clash against Columbus Crew SC (7-3-3, 24 points) at 5 p.m. CT. Tickets for the highly anticipated Retro Night matchup are available via SeatGeek.com. Columbus enters the fixture unbeaten in six games and boasting a 405-minute shutout streak, the longest such run in MLS this year.
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes
Thoughts on the match…
We felt that we were going to get one there. We had quite a few chances around the box. Their goalkeeper made some good saves and unfortunately it didn’t fall. Every time we can steal some points from someone else’s place is a good day out. It was a good point for us.
On the team’s defensive adjustments in the second half…
I think we were really good, actually. I don’t think they posed any threats to us in the second half. I think we controlled the game. We had a lot of possession. From that perspective, it was very good. And like I said, we created a lot of chances where we could have gotten a second or third goal.
On Khiry Shelton scoring his first goal with the team…
I was very happy for him. It was on a set piece. He rose way above everybody. He finished it very well. There’s no chance anyone is stopping that the way he pushed it into the ground and back up into the top of the net. I’m happy for him. Again, it helps us get a point so it’s great.
Sporting Kansas City winger Johnny Russell
Thoughts on the team’s performance…
The effort was there. The effort is always there. That’s never a question. But I think technically we just lacked a little bit of quality in the end. It’s a game that we wanted to come here and win. We’ve got the quality to come and do that but they made it difficult for us and they could have had a couple themselves, as well. It was a difficult game, playing in the heat as well. It’s another point on the road but obviously we’d have wished for the three.
On settling for a draw…
There’s always that disappointment. We had a few chances that we could have snatched the game. You always feel when you play well in games and don’t come away with victories that it’s disappointing. For where we want to go and what we want to do this season, we really need to be winning as many games as we can. That’s the most disappointing thing about today.
On Khiry Shelton scoring his first goal for the club…
It’s good. Khiry works so hard for us. He’s a vital part of what we do. There’s always going to be questions when your number nine doesn’t score but the play that he provides for us is very underrated. I’m just glad that he got the goal today and I could play a part in it, as well.
Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton
On his goal…
It was a perfect service in. I beat the defender. It was a perfectly-placed ball and I was able to finish it.
On the team’s missed opportunities…
There was a couple of chances that we could have taken and been better in those situations. We’ll take the point and move onto the next week.
On preparing for Columbus…
We’ll come in and get back to work and look at the mistakes we made in this game and try to capitalize on those.
— SportingKC.com —